American Spirit II - Da;y 45; Land Tour of San Cristobal; Monday, February 17, 2014
Awakened at 5:45 AM by a 'domestic' sea lion linguistic event. A sea lion was lying on our transom, and and another one had hopped up and was verbally trying to get the other one to leave. When I confronted him, he was 'standing up' looking at me thru the aft lifeline. He snorted and hopped overboard. Problem solved. Back to bed. Got up at 8:00 AM and observed 2 sea lions laying on transom, snug as can be. An adult and a juvenile. When they saw us, they would raise their head to look, then close their eyes and go back to sleep. We took a land tour from 10:15 AM - 1:30 PM with Carlos. We went first to Laguna el Junco, a small lake that is 650 meters in elevation and is actually a lake or lagoon inside of an extinct volcanic crater or caldera. When we got there visibility was almost zero,. read more...
Free & BrEasy - Extraordinary Galapagos
We crept into Wreck Bay, Puerto Moreno, San Cristobal around 8am on Thursday 13th February just in time for Valentine's day. The silence when the engines were turned off was beautiful after 3 days and nights motoring. During the previous night it was strange to see the volcanic land mass slowly emerge from the darkness. As morning twilight occurred, we passed Sleeping Lion Rock which is a 100m stack rising vertically from the sea bed and where we would return!Up went the yellow quarantine flag and we waited patiently for customs and what was the first of three invasions. When customs came, they came in quantity. We were invaded by 8 officials who all had separate paper forms to complete, questions to be answered and parts of the boat to look at, not including the diver who inspected the. read more...
BriZo - A very unique species found in Galapagos - Saturday 16th February 2014
Aside from the blue footed booby and a host of otherunique wildlife in Galapagos, it has a very unique species of Bureaucrat.Isolated out here, they have developed an exquisite blend of characteristicsthat sets them apart from Bureaucrats elsewhere in the world. Their prey isalmost uniquely on Eco-tourists such as ourselves, seeking them out at theearliest opportunity. Hunting in packs of sometimes as many as 12 at a time theyswoop in on incoming yachtsman before they even have time to set foot on land.Attracted by the Yellow Q flag that visiting yachtsman are internationallyobliged to fly as they enter a new country, they are on-board before the victimknows it. Their prey tries in vain to fend them off, handing out money for thisand that but they don’t let up and continue to raid the. read more...
American Spirit II - Day 44; Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks; Sunday, February 16, 2914
Up at 6:30 AM, for we had a trip to Kicker Rock, AKA Roca Pateadora. But first we were bussed to a beach, where we snorkeled amongst rocks and lots of fish,and saw two large turtles swimming. Our guide explained to us the difference between Sea Lions and Seals. Seal Lions have small ears and Seals have no visible ears; and their upper flippers are very strong, allowing them to go vertical more than a meter to climb up on rocks, boats, piers, etc. Seals don't have that upper body strength.After leaving the beach, we headed back to the pier where we boarded a boat and headed to Kicker Rock. Once at Kicker Rock we all got in the water to snorkel. Kicker Rock is a large imposing 'rock', with two channels cut between the rocks. We were going to snorkel thru one of the channels, the larger. read more...
Celebrate - Spectacular Sharks at Kicker Rock , Giant Torrtoises, a Volcano and a Grand Treehouse!
What an experience! After a great boat ride to the gap of famous Kicker Rock we were up close and personal snorkeling with groups of sharks and eagle rays. A nice lunch was served and then we were off to a close-by beach for swimming and bird watching. What fun!We took the best taxi tour of our lives with Carlos the previous day to see a preserve of Giant Tortoises (they are big!), visited a volcano that now holds drinking water for the community of 8,000 people and a very grand treehouse in an ancient cottonwood tree. Entering the treehouse is very exciting on a wooden stick bridge high in the air. I have the photos to prove it! CathyNext...Santa Cruz Island.. read more...
Firefly - Galapagos adventure - swimming with sharks!
In terms of wildlife, the first three days on the islands have lived up to our expectations; we have seen some spectacular sights and enjoyed spotting a wide range of marine and bird life. The level of Galapagos National Park 'red tape' has been as expected and we are quite limited in terms of our movements. We had a visit by 10 officials the morning after arrival, with the inspection and controls logical but not always administered sensibly. Out of the blue, half of the World ARC fleet have been deemed to be too fouled (weed on the hull) and are currently under going significant activities to resolve the issues. Luckily Firefly has been deemed clean (we anticipate that on other blogs on this site more details will be provided). We arrived at San Cristobal Island at sunset after a cruise. read more...